"Mommy?"

She turned toward the child, a tired, but bemused expression upon her face. "Yes, Hana?" she smiled at the child as she knelt, placing her hand upon the girl's cheek, just below the long, white-silver inherited from her father.

"Where's papa?" Hana asked curiously, her large, expression brown eyes (a feature inherited from her mother) full of the desire to know. "The kids at school were all talking about their daddies..."

The small child looked down to her feet, as if ashamed.

She embraced the girl tightly. "Papa is... far away." She lied hesitantly. Hana couldn't know, not yet. "He went to a place we can't go."

"But why not?" Hana asked stubbornly.

She smiled. The girl's spirit was both her father's and mother's, for sure. "Because it's not a place that just anyone can get to. Only the kindest, most righteous people can go."

Hana pulled away, and the fierceness in those eyes made her heart clench in the memory of those lost.

"I'll be the kindest, most righteous person everyone has ever seen then! Then I can see papa!" Hana declared, full of fire and goodness and life.

"Well first, you need to eat," she chuckled. "Go upstairs and change, and I'll prepare this wonderful girl a meal. How about that?" she smiled as the girl cheered, running up the stairs.

She rested against the wall, smiling wistfully. "She may have her father's hair... but she's truly your daughter, Kagome."

Kikyo sighed deeply, and went into the kitchen.